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Mid-Day break for health and wellbeing of UAE'S workforce

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

258

UAE, Dubai, midday, health, workforce, employers, communication, MOHRE, Maximum

The UAE has been among the fastest-growing economies worldwide. Dubai tops the global list of cities with excessive workloads. Recent research by cloud technology start-up Kisi found that 23% of full-time professionals work above 48 hours a week and consequently feel overworked. Burnout is cited as a critical problem for the business sector to overcome in the “Wellbeing in the Private Sector Report” by the UAE National Program for Happiness & Wellbeing. According to reports, depression and anxiety are the two most prevalent mental health problems in the UAE’s private sector. This is worrisome and has prompted authorities to urge the business sector to take action.

Labourers in the UAE will be afforded a midday break at project and building sites from 12:30 pm to 3 pm from June 15 through September 15 of 2022 according to an announcement made by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization (MOHRE). The midday break is being implemented for the eighteenth year in a row as part of MOHRE’s ongoing implementation of its integrated system for occupational health and safety. The rules are designed to protect labourers from the hazards of exposure to high temperatures during the summer and to ensure a safe working environment.

There are certain exceptions to this:
• Due to technological requirements, certain occupations are excluded from the afternoon work prohibition since continuous work must continue.
• These include construction projects like spreading asphalt or pouring concrete, as well as other tasks required to prevent danger, damage, malfunctions, or unplanned emergency losses. These tasks include clearing obstructions in water supply lines, sewage lines, electric lines, or gas or oil pipelines.
• Additionally, it excludes projects like turning off power and communication connections that need a permit from a reputable government body to be implemented because of how they will affect the movement of people and goods.
 
Further measures:
• Employers must supply enough cool drinking water for each employee if work must continue uninterrupted from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., according to the notification.
• Companies must guarantee that, first-aid supplies are accessible on the job site and that there are suitable sheltered locations where workers may relax during breaks.
• In addition to posting the daily schedule in Arabic, employers must also do so in languages that the workers can understand, including the necessary midday break.
• If multiple employees are working in violation of the midday break, a maximum administrative charge of AED 50,000 (Emirati Dirham) will be applied to the violating establishments. This administrative fine amounts to AED 5,000 for each employee.
 
The UAE has always taken specific measures to address these challenges since it cares deeply about the health and wellness of its workers. The midday break’s implementation is evidence of it.

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